There are publications on Traditional Chinese Medicine applied to horses since the early times of human history, as early as 562 AD the Chinese government published “Canon of Equine Acupuncture” Ming Tan Tu, in 502-557 AD; Bo Le Liao. Ma Ping published “Bole’s Classic Treatment of Equine Diseases”, during the Suy dynasty many books were published such as: “Liao Ma Fan Prescriptions for horses”, in 1608 Yu Ben Yuan and Yu Ben Heng published “Luang-Heng’s Therapeutic Treatise for horses ”where acupoints or acupuncture points are already described.
Acupuncture can be used in a large number of clinical conditions especially chronic diseases.
The three areas where acupuncture is commonly used are:
These are some of the diseases and conditions where it applies:
Muscle problems Azoturia Tying Up, myositis, muscle atrophy
Degenerative joint disease DJD
OCD dissecting osteochondritis
Ligament and tendon problems
Dermitis of Ligaments such as the Supraspinatus, and the dorsal sacro-iliac
Tendinitis of T. suspensor, T. flexors
Lameness that does not respond to anti-inflammatory drugs
Acute or chronic pain from:
Back or spinals
Shoulder – chest
Giblet and crown
Heels and helmet
Primary back pain:
Sacro-iliac damage (SID)
DJD of the vertebral articular surfaces
Damage to muscles tendons ligaments from falls …
Thoracic-lumbar, Lumbo-sacral pain
Dorsal spinous processes problems (overriding)
Weakness of the hind limbs Swelling and pain of:
The dorsal part of the third metacarpal of the forelimb or Bucked shins
Of the second and fourth metacarpals or Splints
It is especially applied to improve physical fitness, sports performance, injury prevention in horses that compete in different disciplines.
Some conclusions from studies conducted by scientists
90% of acute and chronic laminitis cases improved according to Kilde and Kung
96% of cases of acute laminitis improved. According to H. Xie
87% improvement in relief of chronic back pain in competition horses that were able to resume work according to Kilde and Martin
85% -92% of back pain responds positively to acupuncture, being able to return to their previous physical level. Xie H, Colahan P studied horses with thoracic-lumbar pain, the improvement was significantly greater at the third treatment in those that were treated with Electroacupuncture, compared to those that were treated with Phenylbutazone, or with saline.
One of the most frequent applications of equine acupuncture is the diagnosis and treatment of acute or chronic musculoskeletal pathologies.
According to Doctor H.Xie, the diagnosis of lameness is possible by palpating sensitive acupoints, these connect with certain anatomical structures, indicating the origin of the lameness, in Chinese Medicine it is explained thanks to the connections that exist between the points located in the meridians o energy channels, scientific studies describe it as “Myofascial trigger points” described by Macgregor and Von Schweinitz; are sensitive areas originating from the primary lameness. Allen M.Shoen explains how a tarsal limp can produce the appearance of these trigger points in
points of the back and neck in the contralateral limb to the initial lameness since this initial lameness is compensated for, which will have to be taken into account for the total healing, Phil Rogers explains in his article Acupuncture for equine myofascial paraspinal pain as identify the tender points in the muscle areas which are the pain compensation models and how to eliminate pain and spasms quickly Dr. William McCormic thinks that they are a reflection of joint pain, that it is necessary to diagnose the imbalance of the affected meridian.
The Ting or Jing Well points are points located in the crown, highly studied by Are S. Thorensen and Dominique Ginaux who observed the changes of these points depending on the syndromes and described their sequence. Emiel Van den Boch measured their
electrical resistance, according to A.S. Thorenson have diagnostic and therapeutic value They are frequently used in the treatment of sprains, tendonitis, laminitis (bleeding them), navicular.
Number of treatments
The average number of treatments to treat lameness or a low sports form due to muscular problems is usually three, when there are orthopedic, degenerative, structural changes in the tendon, more treatments will be necessary.
In case of trauma, fractures, ruptured ligaments or tendons, conventional clinical veterinary medicine should always be the first choice, although acupuncture is applied later to accelerate healing, a good clinical diagnosis will always be of great help.
Performing diagnostic tests such as x-rays, ultrasound, local anesthesia, scintigraphy, thermography is always very important in order to have a correct prognosis.
Ruling out infections and tumors is important before acupuncture treatment.
Persistent diarrhea or constipation
Crib-biting for gastrointestinal problems
Whenever we think that our horse may have colic, it is convenient to quickly call the clinical veterinarian to attend to it and diagnose if it is surgical or medical, if the colic is non-surgical such as impaction of the large intestine, or gas colic, acupuncture can help.
If we observe lack of appetite, weight loss, decreased sports performance, problems with the seat, dull hair we can suspect that there are gastric ulcers, when the stomach hurts there may be problems of back and spinal muscle pain, Ferry Ridgway DVM. Shen Huseing Xie diagnoses gastric ulcers after observing tenderness in certain points located on the head, back, and along the longitudinal line of the navel.
There are studies on the visceral analgesia produced by electroacupuncture in cases of colic, as it acts in cases of hypermotility and hypomotility, normalizing it, studies carried out in humans show how it improves gastrointestinal disorders.
Congestive heart disease
Experiments like that of Zhang Ren where puncturing a point daily in patients with cardiac symptoms, improved: cardiac functions, blood supply to the body, symptoms and ECG by more than 50%; Shanghai Second Medical College studied the benefits of this point in patients with atrial fibrillation and mitral regurgitation. According to studies by Huang and Liang, it can reduce high blood pressure.
The diagnosis of cardiac injuries is always highly recommended by performing the necessary tests, electrocardiogram, ultrasound …
EIPH Nosebleed in racehorses
RAO; COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
In the case of COPD, the conjunction of acupuncture with the application of bronchodilators and corticosteroids is usually necessary, the integration of both being recommended. The number of treatments will depend on the response, at least three treatments should be tried.
In cases of pneumothorax, pleural effusion, pneumonia with fever, it is advisable to act quickly by the equine clinical veterinarian as the first choice, to diagnose with the necessary means radiography, ultrasound, endoscopy, taking
samples… and quickly establish medical or surgical treatment.
IDD disc disease
Traumas with damage to the head spinal cord nerves
Paralysis: Subscapular, Sweeny, Facial
Laryngeal hemiplegia due to Recurrent Laryngeal left nerve dysfunction is common in Pure Bloods, with electroacupuncture it has been seen endoscopically how dysfunction improves, being necessary to see the results at least five treatments (weekly).
KIDNEY AND UROLOGICAL DISEASES
Equine recurrent uveitis
Wounds that do not heal
Immune-mediated in origin
Loss of libido
Infertility in males and females
Cushing / Hyperadrenocorticalism
Insulin Resistance / EMS Equine Metabolic Syndrome
Addison / Hypoadrenocorticalism
Head Shaking (some types)
Sometimes we can not find a medical explanation for certain abnormal behaviors, acupuncture treats them as mental problems due to an imbalance.
Horses that do not tolerate acupuncture by being aggressive can be treated with Chinese herbs with excellent results.
Hematological conditions: anemia, thrombocytopenia
ACUPUNCTURE IN HEALTHY HORSES
Treating the horse before physical signs of injury appear is very important to prevent, when the imbalance is less it is time.
In competition horses where an optimal energy level must be maintained, avoid the stress of travel, competitions, training, it is ideal to do regular treatments.
“Acupuncture helps develop drug-free fitness”